Immigration and Social Integration Code
The Immigration and Social Integration Code (Law 4251/2014, Government Gazette 1, no 80) contains provisions that facilitate the stay of third-country investors, whose investments are characterized as strategic investments, via the provision of extended stay time limits for the representatives of investment bodies and their partners.
Issue and renewal of residence permit for investment activity (Article 16)
I. 5 year residence permits
- The entrance and residence of third country nationals is permitted in Greece, for the purpose of making investments that will have a positive impact on national development and economy.
Depending on the amount and the characteristics of the investment, up to ten third country nationals may enter and reside in the country, including the investors, for the implementation and operation of the investment.
- On the motion of the Directorate of Foreign Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Development, concerning the characterization of the investment and the feasibility of granting residence permit, the entry and residence of third-country nationals may be permitted in Greece for the implementation and operation of the investment.
- The application and the required documents, as specified by the Joint Ministerial Decision, referred in paragraph 12 of the Article 136, are submitted to the Greek Consular Authority of the area of residence of the interested persons, which, within one month, forwards them to the Directorate of Foreign Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Development.
The above Directorate, within a month, examines the application and forwards the relevant motion to the competent Consular Authority in order for the required national visas to be issued.
The competent Consular Authority, in case of delay of forwarding the relevant motion of the Directorate of Foreign Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Development.
- To the third-country national, to whom has been granted a visa for the realization of an investment, a residence permit shall be granted for the same reason, on procurement of the required documents.
The duration of validity of the residence permit is for five years and is subject to renewal for an equal period each time, since the implementation of the investment or its operation is continued after its completion.
- The above third-country nationals, by way of derogation from the provisions of the Article 70, par. 1, may be accompanied by the members of their families who are granted a residence permit for family reunification, expiring simultaneously with the residence permit of the sponsors.
- The Directorate for Migration Policy of the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction is competent for the examination of the application and the decision on the issue or the renewal of the residence permit for the realization of investment activity.
- The provisions of this Article shall apply accordingly for the entry and residence of third-country nationals in the context of new investments realized by Greek undertakings, already operating or third country nationals who already reside legally in Greece and hold residence permits for purposes of independent economic or investment activity.
- In the residence permit of third-country nationals referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, it shall be stated “Residence permit for investment activity «and in the» Remarks» the professional atus of the holder shall be referred.
II. Ten (10) year residence permit
- Up to ten (10) third country nationals, per investment, deemed necessary, are allowed to enter the country if they have been granted, where necessary, visa (Visa D), in order to realize investments, which have been characterized as «Strategic Investments» , pursuant to a decision of the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments on inclusion in Law 3894/2010 (Government Gazette 1, no 204).
The above visa is issued free of charge, on the procurement of the decision of the Inter-ministerial Committee of Strategic Investments, which characterizes the investment as «Strategic Investment» and the motion of the Secretary-General for Strategic and Private Investments referring to the relation of third country nationals with the entity realizing the strategic investment.
- The above are granted, by decision of the Minister for the Interior, ten-year residence permit, which is renewed for ten years, since the same requirements apply.
- For the granting of the residence permit, an application with the required documents is submitted to the Directorate for Migration Policy to the Ministry of Interior, as these are defined, by the provisions of Article 136, par. 1, in the Joint Ministerial Decision. The residence permit shall be issued within five (5) days from the date that the application was submitted.
- The above third-country nationals, by way of derogation from the provisions of Article 70, par.1, may be accompanied by the members of their family, being granted residence permit for family reunification, expiring simultaneously with the residence permit of the sponsors, as well as by the support staff, in the case of people with disabilities.